An up-and-coming Darlington filmmaker has won funding for her next short film.

Leanne Davis received the Tees Valley International Film Festival Scholarship at the closing ceremony of the event in October – with the award being announced by Robson Green.

Ms Davis was also awarded £3,000 and the services of a well-known Teesside actor for the making of the film set to premiere at next year’s festival.

The Northern Echo:

The filmmaker became the first person to win the award twice following her win for her short fil ‘A Last Resort,’ which scooped Best North East Film.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted at winning this award. Given the limited funding opportunities for UK film makers, securing the TVIFF scholarship is a dream come true.

The provision of £3000 plus an astounding amount of in-kind support is both a privilege and a turning point in my career.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of immersing myself in the North East's exceptional talent and hope this may be a catalyst for numerous collaborations in the area I proudly call home.”

The Northern Echo:

The film was inspired by Ms Davis’ personal journey with her mother’s early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis when she was just 28.

Her upcoming film, ‘But First, Tea,’ centres around domestic violence and coercive control.

The Scholarship package also includes two days studio time, donated by The Northern Studios in Hartlepool.

Speaking on his involvement in the film, actor Mark Benton said: “I took part in the closing ceremony of last year’s Tees Valley International Film Festival and having seen the benefit and entertainment it brought to Teesside, I was keen to get further involved.

The Northern Echo:

Most read:

Start December with Your Community at Heart!  Grab our digital subscription for just £3 for 3 months and stay connected with local happenings. Click here.

“So when I was told about the idea for the Scholarship it was actually me that asked if I could offer my services!”

Director of the Tees Valley International Film Festival Michael Luke, who also hails from Darlington, “A regional collaboration of this scale, aimed solely at grassroots filmmakers, has never been seen before in creative media.

“We’re thrilled to have brought these powerhouses of the arts in the Tees Valley together in order to invest in the next step of Leanne’s journey which will undoubtedly lead her to bigger things.”

The Northern Echo: The Northern Echo: